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June 01, 2023: Canada’s women’s team had a strong start in a five-set battle with Poland in its opener, but fell to Thailand in the team’s second contest today at Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Antalya, Türkiye,

“We had a strong start to VNL versus Poland and lost a tight battle in the fifth set. In the end I think we made some poorly timed errors that came back to get us in such a close game, but we once again showed our ability to compete against top teams consistently over a long match,” said Head Coach Shannon Winzer.

The Poland match was a great overall effort, but Canada’s Alexa Gray stood out with a dominating 37 points. Today Gray was held to 10 points. 

“Our second game against Thailand was not a strong performance at our end. I do not think we were ever able to find our rhythm after a tense start. Thailand is always tough, they play a unique style of volleyball that is very difficult to manage if they are in system… and they are absolutely relentless on defense so can easily frustrate hitters. I think we were slow to make changes and while we gained some momentum in the second set, we chased Thailand the whole game.”

Canada next plays Korea and then top-ranked Serbia on June 04 to close out this first week of women’s play. “We are looking to get back to our best tomorrow facing Korea. There are some new players in their lineup, but we will work to focus on our side and doing what we do well,” said Winzer. 

VNL 2023 is played based on the same competition formula as in 2022, featuring 16 teams per gender. A total of 104 matches per gender will be played across the preliminary and final phases, with every team playing a minimum of 12 matches.

For more on the competition formula:

The first week of the men’s event kicks off in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Arena at TD Place on June 06. The Canadian men’s final roster is expected to be released on June 02.

Matches are featured on Volleyball World TV and in Canada at (VNL & Beach Pro Tour)

Poland v. Canada 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13)
Canada v. Thailand  0-3 (17-25, 24-26, 21-25)

VNL Women’s Roster Week 1:

4 – Vicky Savard, Jonquière, QC
5 – Julia Murmann, Toronto, ON
6 – Jazmine White, Oshawa, ON
7 – Layne Van Buskirk, Windsor, ON
9 – Alexa Gray, Calgary, AB
11 – Andrea Mitrovic, Mississauga, ON
13 – Brie King, Langley, BC
14 – Hilary Howe, Calgary, AB
15 – Shaïnah Joseph, Ottawa, ON
16 – Caroline Livingston, Kelowna, BC
17 – Kacey Jost. St. Albert, AB
18 – Kim Robitaille, Repentigny, QC
19 – Emily Maglio, Coquitlam, B.C.
21 – Avery Heppell, Langley, B.C.

Shannon Winzer – Head coach
Vincenzo Mallia – Assistant coach
Matt Krueger – Assistant coach
Gabriele Tortorici – Performance analyst
Kevin Valcke and Hilary Mallinger – Physiotherapists
Jennah Paron – Team Coordinator
Robert Hooper – Trainer (Strength & Conditioning) 
Roger Friesen – Mental Performance Coach

Photo: VolleyballWorld

Volleyball Canada Media Contact:
Jackie Skender
Mobile: 613-794-7676